The hardest part of working your way to fitness is getting started. Everything can seem easy once you’re in a rhythm and a bit fitter. But that initial hurdle, when you don’t quite know what you’re doing or are a bit out of shape, may feel insurmountable. Today, we’re exploring three exercises that can help you start your journey.
While there are many exercises out there, these hit all four of our essential qualifiers. They’re equipment-free, meaning you don’t need to purchase anything. They’re adaptable so they can be made easier or harder as necessary. The exercises are simple to do, so they’re easy to learn. Finally, they’re safe. This is important, especially for seniors, where a fall can be dangerous or deadly.
Squats are one of the go-to exercises, and for good reason. They’re compound exercises, so they strengthen pretty much every muscle in your legs and the lower region of your core. Strong leg and core muscles can help prevent falls and aid in mobility for seniors.
Squats are compound exercises, so they strengthen pretty much every muscle in your legs and the lower region of your core.
To properly do a squat, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Then, bend your knees and stick your butt back like you were sitting down. You can help balance yourself by sticking your arms straight out in front of you. Continue to dip until your legs are at a 90° angle. Do that for 10 to 15 repetitions (reps) for 10 sets for an all-around workout. It’s as simple as that!
What’s great about squats is how easy it is to make them more challenging. If regular squats are too easy, you can hold weights or bend deeper. To make it easier, you can lessen the number of reps or bend less. If you’re concerned about safety, place a sturdy chair behind you. If you lose your balance or need a rest, the chair is there to catch you!
A dead bug is an exercise that works your core muscles. This includes your abs and chest muscles. Your core muscles are important in preventing injuries and improving balance. A strong core also makes most other exercises easier.
Your core muscles are important in preventing injuries and improving balance.
A dead bug is pretty simple to accomplish. The basic form of a dead bug is to lay on your back, putting your hands straight in the air and lifting your knees up and bending at a 90-degree angle. Then lower your opposite leg and arm until they’re just hovering above the floor. Lift them back to the starting position and alternate to the other leg and arm.
The dead bug exercise is exceptionally useful because it’s simple, but adaptable. If a dead bug is too hard, lower one limb at a time instead of the opposite leg and arm combination. If it’s too easy, you can add arm and leg weights or slow down. You can even lower all your limbs at once for a real challenge! At the same time, a dead bug is a safe exercise because there’s no risk of falling when you’re already on the ground. If you’re pushing yourself a little too hard, you can lower your limbs and lay there to rest until you’re ready to continue.
We’ve previously written about how great jogging is for you, but it fits our starter exercise criteria so perfectly, we had to include it. Jogging is a great introduction to cardio exercise and can even add years to your life!
Jogging is a great introduction to cardio exercise and can even add years to your life!
Most of us are familiar with how to jog, but it’s important that you do it right. Whether you’re walking, jogging, or running, it’s important to do it correctly. Keep your head up and your back straight, though relaxed, while swinging your arms to keep balance.
Walking, jogging, and running are perfect for anyone looking to improve their fitness since it scales to your fitness level. If you want to exercise more, run faster or go farther. If you’re tired, slow down to a walk. There are many clever ways you can get more out of a walk or run, making it perfect for people starting out toward better fitness.
Of course, your safety is also important. Much like dead bugs, if you’re getting tired, slow down and rest. You can run on a treadmill at your own home. If you’re running outside, it’s important to do so safely.
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There are many reasons why people look to get in shape. After all, over 75 percent of American adults say being in shape is important to them. The problem is getting started. To twist a famous Lao Tzu quote, the fitness journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. In these three exercises, you may have found your one step.